RIBA Stirling Prize nomination for Maggie’s Lanarkshire at The Elizabeth Montgomerie Building

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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has revealed the six projects competing for this year’s Stirling Prize and we’re delighted that Maggie’s Lanarkshire, designed by Reiach and Hall Architects, has made the shortlist.

Maggie’s Lanarkshire at the Elizabeth Montgomerie Building in the grounds of Monklands Hospital in Airdrie opened in September 2014. It offers a core programme of support which has been shown to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of people with cancer during treatment and recovery.

Great design and architecture is vital to the care Maggie’s offers and so we work with great architects who give their time for little or nothing their skills deliver the calm, uplifting environments so important to the people who visit and work in our Centres.

Reiach and Hall are an Edinburgh-based architectural practice, which was founded in 1965. Their approach to the design of the Centre imagines a low lying building that negotiates the spaces between existing trees that define the northern boundary belt to the main hospital site. The essence of the design is the creation of a matrix of courtyards that result in a porous building, an extension of the landscape that offers moments of visibility and outlook with places of privacy and inlook.

A Maggie’s brief is challenging for many reasons, it is a unique building type. A Maggie’s is all about a different kind of care, a care that is dispensed from a domestic scaled building yet it is not a house nor is it a hospital nor is it a church. Virtually all Maggie’s plans evolve from the kitchen table; around having somewhere to go to the moment you enter the building. Our plan too develops from the kitchen table outwards to the courtyards, the trees and beyond.
Neil Gillespie of Reiach and Hall
The Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation, created by golfer Colin Montgomerie in memory of his mother, contributed more than £1.2 million to the cost of the build. Grant-making organisation Walk the Walk also contributed to the building of the Centre.

Reiach and Hall said:

“We are absolutely delighted, if a bit shocked, to find ourselves on the RIBA Stirling Prize 2015 shortlist.

It was not our intention to attract attention. Indeed from the outset we have attempted to make a quiet, still place that supported the wonderful work that Maggie’s carries out every day in aiding cancer sufferers and their families. Our design approach was simply based on the idea of walled gardens, beautiful handmade brick walls that screen a low, finely scaled building and sequence of gardens and courts.

The design and construction of this modest building has been the result of a very close relationship with our client, the design team and an extremely skilful and patient contractor in John Dennis Ltd.”

Laura Lee, Maggie’s Chief Executive, said:

“I’m delighted that Maggie’s Lanarkshire at the Elizabeth Montgomerie Building has been shortlisted for the 2015 RIBA Stirling prize especially as great design and architecture is so vital to the care and support we offer. The Centre has been designed to create a calm and uplifting environment where we provide a much needed programme of support to strengthen the physical and emotional wellbeing of people with cancer and their family and friends.

“The Centre has been open for almost a year now and each day we see the benefits that design and architecture can have on health and wellbeing as well as the positive impact it has on those who visit the Centre.”

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